I’ve been a huge fan of Maya Angelou, I have read her essays and poems, loved watching her speak on television. But I had never read her autobiography, last week my friend Gillian gave me Maya Angelou’s first volume of her autobiography and that’s how I ended up reading the book.
Maya Angelou needs no introduction, she was an American poet, memoirist and civil rights activist. Apart from publishing seven autobiographies, three books and several books of poetry, she was also credited with a list of plays, television shows and movies.
She is best known for her series of seven autobiographies. ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ is the first volume of her autobiography. It tells us about her life up to the age of seventeen.
The book is a powerful account of Maya’s childhood in the American South of the 1930’s. The book addresses the issue of racism, discrimination, molestation and trauma of rape. I found her book tragic and also hopeful at the same time.
Some of my favorite quotes from ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ are:
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
“When things were very bad his soul just crawled behind his heart and curled up and went to sleep.”
“She comprehended the perversity of life, that in it’s struggle lies the joy.”
“Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.”
“Anything that works against you can also work for you once you understand the Principle of Reverse.”